Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday dear WOWs, Happy Birthday to us! Congratulations, WOWs, we are officially 9 years old!!! And goodness, what a great meeting we had for July at Liz Eberle’s house!!!

 

First, a little general group news: our own dear Dena Dyer will be in Amarillo by morning! She and Carey and the kids left Fbg. on Tuesday and they are new-homeward bound. Carey wants to make a career change and has been accepted to a Speech Pathology program at a university in Amarillo (sorry, I can’t remember the name). He plans to specialize in performance voices – perfect fit for him, isn’t it? They have rented an apartment for the time being and Dena already has a new job. She will be in Community Relations with Catholic Family Service. They are an active refugee re-locating service and Dena’s position will involve talking to local groups about refugee re-location and raising funds. She will also teach/train refugees to tell their own stories. Dena is thrilled with her new job! It is right up her alley of public speaking and helping others. I expect there to be many wonderful, touching, heart-rending stories in Dena’s new line of work and I just pray that she finds the time to write them all down and into a book!! Also, Dena’s parents live on a ranch in Dumas, which is only an hour from Amarillo. And Dena’s brother and his family live just minutes away from their new apartment, so this really is like going home for her. She is excited! I don’t have Dena’s new address yet, but as soon as I do, I will pass it along and post it on our blog, www.hcwomenofwords.org under “members only” and “addresses” so everybody can have it. In the meantime, Dena is always within reach…her new email is www.denadyer@gmail.com Thank you, Lord, for technology!

 

Also, mark your calendars – Cecil Murphey will be speaking at The Haven in Comfort, TX, the evening of Oct. 31, all day Nov. 1, and the morning of Nov. 2. Facilitator Suzi Ramsey has requested our help in fleshing out what topics might be of interest to local writers. If you are not familiar with Cecil’s work, check out his web site: www.cecilmurphey.com and email any questions or topics that you can think of to me. I will pass them along and I will post an email with details of the event as soon as I have them.

 

The Johnson City Writers group has changed up their venue slightly. They are still meeting the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30 in the Johnson City library, but facilitator Bambi Haley will give writers a topic at the meeting and we will have 20-30 minutes to write on it, followed by readings. In July, our topic was to “Write about your kitchen as if you were a detective. What has just taken place? Look for clues and contradictions. What lurks in the kitchen? Is it friend or foe? How does your kitchen reflect you?” Ladies, it was really fun! If anybody would like to join me in August, I would welcome the company!

 

We had one guest at the meeting and one new member. Nancy Stevens was a guest of Mary Eckert. Nancy has only lived in Fbg. for 6 weeks, but she and her husband attend Mary’s church in Mason, so Mary invited Nancy along so she could meet a great group of ladies – us! Nancy is from Dallas and it turns out she grew up just blocks away from where I grew up in Dallas! We both graduated from the same high school but different years. Small world! Nancy isn’t a writer but I hope she will join us again sometime. She was delightful!

 

Our new member, (we hope), is Mary Thompson, a neighbor of Alice Kolb. Mary, like Alice, lives in Alamo Springs and loves to journal. She brought a piece to read called “A Book of Days,” the story of her grandson’s birth, one year ago, July 13, 2009. Many of us could relate to the magic of the birth of a first grandchild – there really isn’t anything else that compares! Thank you, Mary, for sharing this part of your life with us and please come again!

 

Sally Clark has been working on some pop-up books submissions for Jumping Jack Press and she brought them along to read: “Silly Ghosts Go Tricking,” “Merry Christmas Penguins,” “Wintry Celebration,” “To Christmas Cat From Santa,” and “Where’s My Hug?” The first four were written specifically to fit with Jumping Jack’s illustrations; the last book is one I wrote last year and thought might work for a pop-up. I also brought a new poem, “The Widow’s Mite,” another poem, “Stalker,” that won second place from Abilene Writers Guild in their member-only monthly contest, and “Cyber Ghoul” which won honorable mention from AWG in the same contest. The theme was “haunting” and the poems had to be unrhymed. I also attended the Christian Writers Guild of San Antonio workshop this weekend for Christian fiction writers. While there, I met Teresa Lilly, an editor I’ve worked with writing children’s poetry units, author Janice Hanna Thompson, and a host of other lovely Christian women writers. Check out their web site at www.cwgsa.com and look for more emails from me when this group has another event in the fall.

 

Alice Kolb brought us a memoir piece called “It Was a Monday Morning” she wrote about their recent travels to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It was a delightful piece of riding on a ferry and drawing parallels between irregular people and the words of Christ. Alice is a real “people watcher” and photographer. Next time, bring us some of those “feet photos” and a few “hem watch photos,” too, please Alice?

 

Cindy Harper brought a wonderful poem entitled “Texas Twilight,” a rendering of “dual realities” between two blood-suckers of the night: mosquitoes and vampires. Both are currently much on people minds given the hot summer weather and the local movie marquees. And Cindy is so right – “a good hard slap is still a soul-satisfying experience!” Thanks, Cindy!

 

Sheila Barnette brought a piece called, “Living in the Country’s Not for Wimps,” the story of she and her husband’s move from Houston to their ranch (Santa Vaca) in Sandy, TX. Sheila’s love and appreciation for small town life comes through in every line and makes this piece a delight to read. I think there would be several country magazines that might like it – maybe Country Woman? As enjoyable as it was, I missed Wanza and Curly. Sigh. I hope they come back, soon.

 

Liz Eberle is back in the saddle again, the writing saddle, that is, and she has written a new chapter for her book, Freedom Searchers. Liz read us chapter 13, “Emma’s Apron,” and even the ones who did not know the background of the book were enthralled. And here’s something fun – Sheila Barnette asked Liz how she did her research for the book and Liz mentioned that after they married, she and Gus made a trip to Ohio to meet some friends and relatives of his up there. Sheila asked where and guess what – Sheila grew up just 15 miles down the road from where Gus’ friends and relatives live and where Liz did the research for her book! Isn’t that amazing? I hear strains of “It’s a Small World After All” in the background!

 

Mary Eckert did not bring anything to read but reports that sales of Where Was God When I Cried are going very well. Copies are being sold and hearts are being touched. After reading the book, a woman in Florida called Mary to say that she grew up much like Peaches and did Mary know how she could meet her? Of course, Mary helped her make connection with Peaches and God’s hand was seen in it all. How gratifying, even to those of us who only had a tiny part of the big picture. Mary also reports that Tate has set up a web site for her at:  http://maryshearereckert.tatepublishing.net. Take a look. And Mary has been attending the Brady writing group, Heart of Texas Writers, and says they are doing well.

 

Linda Colie brought us a Biblical fiction piece called “The Final Stroke” based on 1 Samuel 25, the story of Abigail, Nabal, and David. Linda has done a wonderful job of painting a very real setting and characters to speak out this ancient story. Good job, Linda! Bring more! Also, Linda and her sister Chris will be moving from the Highland Oaks Apartment to the Towne Creek Apartments at the end of this month and Linda will soon have a new address. I will let everybody know as soon as she does move and will post it on the WOW web site. The plan is for our next meeting to be at Towne Creek. I will keep everybody posted via email.

 

Liz Brookshire has become involved in a local memoir writing group and brought a story she wrote for that group called, “Tante and Onkel,” the story of her mother’s upbringing in Doss, Texas. Liz’s mother’s (Hermina Mund Krauskopf) mother (Frieda Knopp Mund) died when Hermina was only 2 ½ years old and she was raised by Alfred Sauer and Elise Mund Sauer, her aunt and uncle. Liz has such vivid memories of times spent with her Tante and Onkle, giving us a detailed view of their lives and home. So many wonderful descriptions of a way of life that was not that long ago but so far removed from today’s technology. A real treasure for Liz’s descendants!

 

I ran into Aimee Martin recently and she has a new job at Ambleside in addition to teaching Kindergarten three days a week: Development Director. Her new duties will mainly rotate around fund raising and since Aimee is delightful and articulate, I bet she will do a wonderful job. Congratulations, Aimee. Dena Dyer managed to squeeze in two group classes before she left: “Book Proposal Blitz,” attended by Sally Clark, Sheila Kale, Liz Eberle, Lorraine McVey, and Alice Kolb. Her second class was “Join the World of Social Media” and the lucky attendees were Sally Clark, Liz Eberle, Sheila Kale, Alice Kolb, and Liz’s daughter-in-law, Cindy Eberle. Thank you, Dena, for one last hurrah! Judy Koch has been attending our Tuesday Writers inspiration Group but was out of town for the monthly meeting. Kathleen Maxwell emails: “I hate it but I will be in California. Tell everyone I said hello.” Katy Jones is moved and has a new address, telephone number, and email: 115 Briarwood Lane, Kerrville, TX, 78028, (830) 367-1958, kjones@hctc.net. Lorraine McVey was out of town at her son’s wedding in South Africa. Megan Willome has been swamped of late with work for The Wacoan, but she misses us! Rebecca McCright’s Educators Retreat is this weekend in Utopia and asks for our prayers. She writes “I would love to be there, and you know this is coming, but I'm getting ready for the teachers retreat. I look forward to the day that I can come back and see you guys, er, girls. I'd love to know that y'all are praying for the Lord's will this weekend during the retreat.” Sheila Kale was called away to Dallas, to baby sit her daughter’s four grandchildren. We miss her!

 

We have two August birthdays – Sheila Kale on August 10th

       Dorothy Leyendecker (our FL member) on August 23.

 

Our next meeting will be August 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Towne Creek Apartment community room. I will send final details as soon as I have them.

 

Don’t forget to check the submissions blog for deadlines at www.christwriters.info/deadlines and the WOW web site, www.hcwomenofwords, for new addresses and any change in emails.

 

Stay inside and stay cool – it’s easier to write! Love to all, Sally

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